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Tales From The WandWorks

Mayling’s Rosewood Wand

  • November 26, 2010

I found the pictures of this magic wand in my old records. I made it in November of 2004, for a woman who lives in Singapore. This was a monumental work.  The rod is, of course, Rosewood. Mayling sent the twinned crystals to me before I began the work. The crystals were much larger than what I had been used to working with, and I tried to find a balance between their imposing diameter and the grace that I try to achieve in my shapes. Along with the crystals, she sent a handful of lesser-quality crystals, which I pounded into…

Pantheacon 2005

  • November 17, 2010

Five-and-a-half years ago, I went along with my costume-maker sister Kristi Smart to Pantheacon in San Jose. I just found this picture; you can see that I enjoy creating displays from found objects. In this case, the horizontal rack is an Art deco mirror frame that was on its last legs. I didn’t feel too badly about tucking a sheet of thin plywood in where the mirror had been, and some silver leaf satisfied my love of the shiney–  a wash of nicotine-yellow  glaze over  that made a more satisfactory backdrop for the wands. I sent wooden drawer knobs climbing…

Bee Ball!

  • June 2, 2008

Yesterday, my son and his friends suddenly scrambled out of my woodshop– out the window, instead of the door. “Bees!” They were swarming around the grapefruit tree that stands just outside the woodshop door. They were so loud, that when I went to look I thought someone had left my sander running! Within a half-hour, the swarm had formed itself into a compact, living, ball of bronze and gold. Somewhere in the middle, a young Queen is resting, whilst scouts search for a suitable hiving space. In this chicken-coop I call home, there ought to be many places where bees…

I love the lumberyard

  • April 10, 2008

Yesterday I gave my son a ride to school (he normally takes the train), and that put me about ten minutes from Bonhoff Lumber, down on the far south side. Instead of going home and getting my coffee like a sensible person, I went there, looking for Ash wood. Bonhoff is a wholesale yard. I love to visit; There are stacks of boards twenty feet long and forty feet high, in an enormous hangar and a vast open yard. Two forklifts zip about all the time, picking up half-stacks and moving them here and there so that customers can choose…

Magic Wands for party favors

  • June 28, 2006

I got the email in plenty of time; could I make 18 magic wands for a little girl’s birthday party? First of all, I needed the money badly- who wouldn’t! and even more importantly, I began making these in the first place- as presents for the kids. After a few emails, we came to our agreement. In a phone call, my client proved to be possessed of a brisk sense of humor, and a natural talent for story-telling. She told me that she made up stories that carried on from year to year- My magic wands were to be part…

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